I don’t want to be too mean to Rep. Kylie Oversen, a Democrat representing District 42 in the state House, but I had to laugh when I read that the Washington Post had named her to their Top 40 Under 40 list.
The list is supposed to denote rising political stars across the nation, and apparently someone at the Post thought Oversen qualified. But you have to wonder why.
Here’s how the Post described her accomplishments:
We should remember Oversen’s name because she’s taken “firm” stances on issues like homosexuality and abortion?
Well, uh, so have a lot of people. In fact, I’m pretty sure that every single member of the North Dakota Legislature has taken a firm stance on those issues one way or another.
As for her age, that seems a) irrelevant and b) not particularly unique. Rep. Oversen isn’t even the youngest member of the current Legislature (that would be Rep. Alex Looysen, a Republican from Jamestown).
So, in summary, the Washington Post thinks Rep. Oversen is a rising political star because she got elected to the Legislature at a young age and has taken defaulted to liberal orthodoxy on a couple of social issues.
Color me underwhelmed, and not because Rep. Oversen is a liberal. She just hasn’t really, you know, done anything to make me think she’s a “rising star.” Maybe one day she will, but for now she’s a first termer who hasn’t really done much.
If “railing” on the abortion issue and having a “firm stance” on homosexuality makes you a “rising political star,” then I think we have to question the rather loose definition of “star” as it is used in this context.